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Unilever Sheds Some Culver Brands

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Unilever Plc.(UL - Free Report) has decided to get rid of some more of its Alberto Culver brands, and this time it is shedding the Culver Specialty Brands division, which includes Mrs. Dash, Molly McButter, Sugar Twin, Bakers Joy and Static Guard in the US and Canada.

U.S.-based B&G Foods Inc. (BGS - Free Report) has emerged as an interested buyer, and Unilever has agreed to sell the brands for a return of $325 million in cash.

The world’s leading manufacturer of fast moving consumer goods, Unilever had completed its takeover of Chicago-based Alberto Culver on May 10, 2011 for $3.7 billion.

Unilever agreed to part with Alberto VO5 brand in the United States and to fully shed its own ‘Rave’ hair products to conform to the directions of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ had issued this prerequisite for the buyout of Alberto Culver in order to reduce competition in the US hair care market.

The acquisition added brands like TRESemme and Nexxus, plus Alberto VO5, which Unilever can sell outside the US.

Following the ownership of Alberto, Unilever became the world’s leading company in hair conditioning, the second largest in shampoo and the third largest in styling.

Headquartered in London, Unilever manufactures and sells consumer products in more than 100 countries under brands such as Hellmann’s, Lipton, Surf, Dove, Suave and Vaseline. Unilever had sales of $62 billion in 2010. However, the presence of Procter & Gamble Co. (PG - Free Report) , a strong competitor, concerns us.

Unilever holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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